Hidden Design Features Of Everyday Objects

Have you ever wondered why there’s a little hole on the side of your running shoes? Or why there’s a hole at the end of your pot handles? Well, we’re here to answer all of those burning questions. It turns out that a lot of us aren’t using our products to their fullest potential.

Product designers thought of everything, even things we aren’t smart enough to notice. Keep reading to find out how you can get even more utility out of the objects you already have around your home.

That’s A Warming Drawer, Not A Storage Drawer

The drawer at the bottom of your oven is actually intended to be a warming drawer, not a storage drawer.

warming drawer
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

In fact, a lot of oven manufacturers warn against storing kitchenware in there.

A Takeout Plate

The next time you order Chinese takeout, unfold the takeout container to make a perfect plate for your food.

takeout container
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

When you’re finished eating, you can just throw the container away.

That Signature Toblerone Shape

We’re here to tell you that you’ve been eating Toblerone bars wrong your whole life.

toblerone
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

They’re shaped like triangular prisms so you can just lightly press the top of one segment towards the segment behind it to break off a piece.

That Tiny Pocket In Your Jeans

Have you ever wondered what that tiny little pocket just above the regular-sized pocket in your jeans is for?

tiny pocket
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Those little pockets were originally intended to hold little pocket watches.

The Tic Tac Trick

If you want to extract a single Tic Tac from your box of Tic Tacs, all you have to do is turn the container over and use the little Tic Tac shaped indent on the underside of the lid.

tic tac
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Impressive!

That Notch In Your Tape Measure

That little metal bit at the end of your tape measure is used to hold it in place as you measure things from end to end.

tape measure
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Have you ever noticed that there’s a little notch in it? That’s so it can smoothly glide over any nail heads that might be in your hardware.

That Loop On Your Shopping Cart

Right behind the child seat on most shopping carts is a little loop that sticks straight up. That loop is actually meant for you to loop a shopping bag around.

shopping cart
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

It’s a handy place to hang particularly fragile items.

Why Margins Exist

Have you ever wondered why there are red margins on the side of lined paper?

rat margin
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Margins were actually invented so that the words on the page would still be legible if a rat were to nibble on the edges of the pages.

That Trendy Backpack Feature Has A Purpose

We’ve seen these little designs on backpacks a lot recently, but did you know that these little squares aren’t just for show?

shoe tie
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

You can actually loop your shoelaces through those slats so you don’t have to carry your dirty shoes inside your bag.

The Holes On The Sides Of Your Shoes

Even though these holes look like they provide some good ventilation, that’s not actually what their intended purpose is.

shoelace holes
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

These are actually meant for fashion and creativity. Loop your laces through them and see if you can come up with any cool designs.

A Dual-Purpose Lid

Starbucks thought of everything. Their lids don’t just keep their drinks warm.

starbucks lid
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

They’re also the perfect size for holding your cup in place. Who knew lids could double as coasters?

The Holes In Pot Handles

If you aren’t using the holes at the end of your pot handles, you’re using your pots wrong.

pot holes
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

These holes are great for holding your spoons when you’re not using them.

Keep That Radiation In

Have you ever wondered why microwaves have a black mesh panel behind their glass windows? It’s actually called a Faraday cage.

microwave
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

It keeps the radiation (which heats up your food) inside the oven.

Lollipop Whistles

Some kids like to use their empty lollipop sticks as whistles, but these sticks actually have that little hole at the top for a different reason.

lollipop
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

The hole helps the hardened lollipop candy stay on the stick.

The Hole At The Top Of Pen Caps

Pen caps have holes at the top to stop kids from choking on them.

pen cap hole
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

If a child accidentally inhales a pen cap, the hole at the top will allow some air to get through so they can still breathe.

Headrests Have A Safety Feature

If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you have to break your car window from the inside, pull out your headrest and use the metal prongs to smash through the glass.

headrest
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

This isn’t the intended purpose, but it’s a nice bonus in an emergency.

The Tiny Hole On The Bottom Of A Padlock

The little hole at the bottom of padlocks is actually a drain to let out any water that may have accumulated inside of the lock mechanism.

lock hole
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Water that gets stuck inside the lock can cause rust to form, which would jam the lock.

The Hole In The Middle Of A Pasta Ladle

The hole in the middle of a pasta ladle has two purposes. First, it lets out excess water.

Untitled design (40)
Photo Credit: Krista Stucchio / Unsplash // Imgur
Photo Credit: Krista Stucchio / Unsplash // Imgur

It can also be used to measure out the exact amount of dry pasta for a single serving.

Toothpaste Is Good For More Than Your Teeth

Sometimes after you’ve been wearing nail polish for a long time, your nails can develop a yellowish tint. You can use toothpaste to make your nails white again.

nail toothpaste
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Just let it sit on your nails for a few minutes and then scrub it into your nails before washing it off.

Get More Ketchup

Those little ketchup cups can actually hold more ketchup than you think.

ketchup cup
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

You can unfold the ridges along the side of the cup and expand it so it can accommodate more of the red stuff.

The Bumps On Your Keyboard

Whoever designed keyboards did a pretty great job making them user-friendly.

keyboard
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

The small bumps on the F and J keys help your hands find the home row without you having to take your eyes off of your screen.

A Sharper Blade Without A Sharpener

Most utility knives have score marks that allow you to break off the dulled section of the blade.

knife cap
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Some, like the one pictured here, have a removable plastic tool on the handle of the knife to make a clean break easier.

An Extra Swatch Of Fabric

Sometimes a new item of clothing comes with a little baggie with extra buttons and fabric inside.

fabric
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

We know what the buttons are for, but what about the fabric? You get the fabric so you can test out any detergents or washing agents on the fabric without ruining your item.

The Right Way To Use Bobby Pins

When you use bobby pins, the curvy end of the pin should be on the underside of your hair, closer to your head.

bobby pins
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

The curved design will help the bobby pin stay in place.

An Easy-Access Safety Cap

These kid-safe pill bottle lids have extra threads on them so you can flip the lid over for a seal that isn’t kid-safe.

double sided cap
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

If you don’t live with kids, you can just flip the lid over so you can open and close it more easily.

The Hole In Airplane Windows

This tiny window hole, called a “bleed hole,” releases the excess pressure that develops inside the aircraft.

airplane window
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

It also releases moisture. If the hole wasn’t there, passengers would fog up the windows.

The Ultimate Acne Treatment

The gel inside of Advil Liqui-Gels actually works as an amazing spot treatment. Just poke the capsule with a safety pin and apply the gel right onto your pimples.

advil
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

I’m adding it to my skincare routine, for sure.

Why Bottles Have Necks

It turns out that bottles have necks for a reason.

bottle
Photo Credit: The Creative Exchange / Unsplash
Photo Credit: The Creative Exchange / Unsplash

Bottles are tapered so that you can hold onto them without warming up your drink with your body heat. This girl should really be holding her drink by the neck.

The Mysterious Black Dot

The black dot on the back of your iPhone isn’t a microphone or a camera.

black dot iphone
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

It actually serves to reduce and omit background noise so your videos sound more clear.

The Plastic Inside Bottle Caps

This special plastic layer inside bottle caps is only found on caps that cover carbonated beverages.

bottle cap
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

Without this material, your soda would be totally flat before it ever got from the factory to the store to your fridge.

No More Getting Hit In The Nose

When you first put a straw into a can of soda it often pops back up and has a tendency to hit you in the face.

pop tab for holding straw
Photo Credit: Reddit / TriggerHoppe
Photo Credit: Reddit / TriggerHoppe

If you turn the tab around you can use it to hold the straw in place against the side of the can.

The Rivets On Your Jeans Help You

You’ve learned about the purpose of the small pocket on your jeans, but what about all the extra rivets or little buttons?

close up of rivets on blue jeans
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Anne Nygard
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Anne Nygard

Those rivets are placed as reinforcements in the spots that are most likely to tear apart from strain or movement.

Why Does The Bottle Have “57” On It?

There’s an art to pouring ketchup out of a glass bottle, and the little printed “57” on the bottles is there to help you.

close up of heinz ketchup bottle on shelves
Photo Credit: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Heinz designed the number to sit exactly at the sweet spot that you need to tap on to get the ketchup from the bottle to the plate.

Escalators Have Psychological Deterrents

Those little nylon bristles that line the sides of escalators aren’t just for cleaning your shoes.

downward escalator
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Escalator mishaps often happen from people getting bags or clothes stuck in the escalator, so the nylon bristles are meant to play with your mind and deter you from standing to close to the sides.

The Arrow On Your Gas Gauge Is There To Help

Chances are you already know what side of the car your gas tank is on, but for moments where you’re driving someone else’s car or a rental car, this little arrow tells you what side the tank is on.

arrow on gas gauge in car
Photo Credit: Reddit / IGotTheDeadInMyHead
Photo Credit: Reddit / IGotTheDeadInMyHead

Now you know!

Save Your Laptop Cord From Tangling

Some people may know this one already and choose not to embrace it, but for those who don’t, those notches on your laptop cord are meant to help you properly wrap it without the cord getting tangled.

wrapped up laptop cord
Photo Credit: Twitter / @itsJeremiahS
Photo Credit: Twitter / @itsJeremiahS

You should try this is you don’t already.

The PomPom Isn’t Just For Decoration

The pompoms on top of toques or beanies aren’t just for decoration, or at least they didn’t use to be.

pompom on top of winter toque
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tim Foster
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Tim Foster

Pompoms were added to the tops of hats for French sailors to prevent them from hitting their heads on the ceilings of the ship during rough weather.

A Built-In Safety Measure

If the doors of an elevator ever get stuck and can’t open automatically, the little hole in the door will come in handy.

elevator door safety hole
Photo Credit: Reddit / bennytehcat
Photo Credit: Reddit / bennytehcat

The hole is there to help operators open the door manually.

Uncle Ben Can Support Himself

Making microwave or instant rice can be a struggle if you can’t get the package to stay upright, but it turns out Uncle Ben was trying to help all along with the built-in flaps at the bottom of their package.

uncle ben minute rice package hack
Photo Credit: Reddit / liveathanfrnk
Photo Credit: Reddit / liveathanfrnk

No more problems!

The Blue End Of The Eraser Isn’t For Pen

You might have heard when you were younger that the darker end of a two-toned eraser was meant for erasing pen but everyone knew it didn’t work. Turns out it wasn’t actually for erasing pen.

blue and pink old school eraser
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

The darker end, often blue or gray, is for erasing pencil or graphite marking on different types of artist’s paper that tear easily and need less friction.